Difference Between Wish and Want

Wish vs Want

Wish and Want are two words that are often confused as words that give the same meaning. Strictly speaking there is difference in the usage of wish and want. A wish refers to ‘desire’ as in the sentence ‘I wish to go out for a walk now’. On the other hand a want refers to ‘need’ or something that is related to the psychology of a person. It is thus termed as psychological want.

Want refers to physical needs such as shelter and clothing. On the other hand wish is used in the sense of request too as in the sentence ‘It is my wish’. In this sentence the use of the word ‘wish’ suggests the sense of ‘request’.

As a matter of fact both wish and want are used as verbs too as in the sentences

1. I wish you all the best.

2. I want to go to Canberra this week.

In both the sentences given above the words ‘wish’ and ‘want’ are used as verbs. It is important to know that the word ‘wish’ is often followed by the preposition ‘for’ as in the sentences

1. Francis wishes for the speedy recovery of Albert.

2. I too wish for happiness.

In both the sentences given above you can see that the verb ‘wish’ is followed by the preposition ‘for’. On the other hand the verb ‘want’ is often followed by the preposition ‘to’ as in the sentences

1. I want to give him 30 dollars.

2. Jasmine wants to talk to her friend.

In both the sentences given above you can see that the verb ‘want’ is followed by the preposition ‘to’. This is one of the major differences between the two verbs, namely ‘wish’ and ‘want’. The usage of both the verbs is to be understood with precision.